Some signs of impending summer are unmistakable: blossom-filled trees, popsicles, halter tops and the chiming sunshine pop of LA’s The Little Ones. There’s nothing quite like a jangly Rickenbacker and ample tambourine to invoke Brian Wilson at his Pet Sounds peak, a fact The Little Ones are not too shy to flaunt on latest EP Terry Tales & Fallen Gates.
Following their 2006 breakthrough Sing Song EP, Lee LaDouceur and his merry band of glowing pop songsmiths have composed another batch of similarly flavored So Cal hedonism. Terry Tales spins a cotton candy confection of reverbed guitars and bubbly keyboards that, while maybe not as immediately infectious as their first EP, when given a few listens will still garner plenty of head bobs.
“Unlock The Door” is the “Let Them Ring The Bells” of this release, a cool dip into calypso rhythms and beach guitars, saccharine, pure and simple. Elsewhere The Little Ones dabble in more Shins and Belle & Sebastian style abandon, fomenting super-glue melodies that stick in your head for days (“O-A [There’s A Sun],” “Tallies”).
At six songs and less than 20 minutes long, Terry Tales never outstays its welcome, soaking just enough rays to bronze a little without inviting that regrettable lobster tan. I can only imagine what an endless summer would do to diminish one’s motivation, but if there is something to complain about, it’s this: enough with the EPs, come in from the surf and record the full length already.